Holiday Recipe Roundup: One Main Dish, Three Easy Sides, and a Gluten-Free Dessert

25 Nov

I’m definitely a last-minute grocery shopper that hits the store the day before Thanksgiving. I like everything to be super fresh – that’s my excuse, anyway.

If you’re a last-minute shopper, too, and you need some ideas fast for delicious holiday fare, then this post is for you!

I’ve rounded up five of my favorite recipes that are always crowd-pleasing hits and super easy to prepare:

DESSERT FIRST

Gluten-Free Almond Pear Bread – I made this (amazing) dessert bread last year after my son decided he really didn’t want to eat the two dozen fresh pears he begged me to purchase at Costco.

This bread was so delicious that I ended up making several batches for friends and neighbors. I promise you can’t tell it’s gluten free.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

(Amazing) Gluten Free Almond Pear Bread

(Amazing) Gluten Free Almond Pear Bread

THREE EASY SIDES

Perfect Asparagus Every Time – add a little green to your holiday. Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Perfect Asparagus Every Time

Perfect Asparagus Every Time

Sweet Potatoes – super fast twist on a traditional classic. Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Super Fast Sweet Potatoes

Super Fast Sweet Potatoes

The Only Salad You’ll Ever Need to Make – this salad is a big hit – every time. I’m often asked,  “would you mind bringing that salad that you make?” when invited to a dinner gathering.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

The simple toss of a few ingredients in a light olive oil dressing will cause your guests to rave!

The simple toss of a few ingredients in a light olive oil dressing will cause your guests to rave!

ONE MAIN DISH

Aunt Pat’s Chicken – this dish makes the kitchen smell amazing, allows you to mingle with your guests, and is perfect for entertaining any day of the year.

Click on the photo below or here for the full recipe.

Aunt Pat's Chicken

What are some of your go-to recipes this holiday season? I read every comment and love hearing from you!

Thanks for stopping by today,

Why Nobody Wants to Hear the Phrase: “Just Look at the Bright Side”

20 Nov

Yesterday I discovered that my dining chairs were stolen from a shop where they were being reupholstered – a week before Thanksgiving.

Most of the immediate responses I received from friends were compassionate: “Oh, no!”, “I’m so sorry to hear this”! etc.

But a handful of people (well-meaning, I have no doubt) replied with: “You just need to look on the bright side” and “you have so much to be thankful for.”

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DIY Furniture Transformation with Homemade Chalk Paint

18 Nov

Here’s an after photo of one of my recently completed chalk paint tables:

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And some before photos:

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A few dings and scratches here and there.

We were gifted two over-sized nightstands last summer as part of a beautiful bedroom set.

They were made of mahogany wood and in great shape overall, except for a few small dings and scratches that had been acquired through the years.

Although I liked the overall shape, I thought that both the finish and the hardware made the nightstands look dated. I’m not a huge fan of the Chippendale style drawer pulls.

I wanted to try something different than spray paint this time, so I searched Pinterest for ideas on furniture refinishing.  It seems that nearly every piece I saw that I really, really liked had been refinished with chalk paint.

Not chalkboard paint, but chalk paint.

The appeal of chalk paint is that there is no sanding or priming needed to prepare your surface for painting – you just start painting!

After the amount of sanding and priming that went into this vintage hexagonal table,  this antique vanity bench, and my son’s vintage red chair, I was ready to try a different painting technique.

I was sold on the concept of chalk paint, so I went in search of where to buy it. I quickly discovered that brand-name chalk paint is super expensive!!! At $35-40 per quart, I did not want to “experiment” with it on my free furniture!

After researching homemade chalk paint, I found several on-line recipes and decided on one using calcium carbonate and latex paint. I chose calcium carbonate because it’s the safest to eat of all the ingredients used to make other chalk paint recipes. I mean, who wants to eat un-sanded grout for breakfast!

I tried several different formulas on sample wood and found that I like this recipe the best:

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Breakfast Casserole – Simple, Yummy, and Gluten Free!

4 Nov

I hosted a brunch this week for some lovely ladies and made my favorite breakfast casserole for the occasion.

This perfectly simple recipe is yummy, relatively healthy, and absolutely gluten free!

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After a friend shared the recipe with me several years ago, this dish has become my go-to option for brunch gatherings and Christmas morning fare.

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Hold The Crust, Please – Quick and Easy Baked Apple Slices!

21 Oct

During a dinner party last weekend with some friends, I threw together this quick and easy apple dessertIt was a big hit – and a great way to enjoy fruit that’s in season!

Baked sliced apples with vanilla yogurt - yummmmm!

Mmmmm…close to apple pie a la mode, but without the guilt!

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this delicious and (mostly) healthy treat around your home in no time.

DIRECTIONS: 

Makes ~6 servings

–Cut up 5 apples into slices (I used organic Gala apples)

–Place apple slices in an 8 x 8 baking dish

–Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and pour over apple slices

–Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon (to your liking)

–Sprinkle with pecans (if desired)

–Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes

Baked Sliced Apples - AroundMiCasa

Apple Pie without the crust!

–Serve in small bowls and top with vanilla yogurt for a healthy choice, or vanilla ice cream for a more decadent option. You can’t go wrong either way!

Note: I didn’t have any in my kitchen at the time, but I think raisins would make a great addition to this yummy combination!

Don’t you think apples are such a wonderful fall crop? What are some of your favorite apple recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

 

Little Vintage Chair Gets a Big (Red) Makeover

7 Oct

My latest furniture re-do started out like this:

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And now looks like this:

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This darling chair was an estate sale find and cost me $10. I loved the sweet little frame, the wood structure was sturdy, and I couldn’t pass up the price. I have a thing for chairs.

I had originally planned on simply adding some foam and recovering the seat, but when my 3 year old got involved in the project, those plans quickly changed.

You see, his favorite color is red.

Enter Exhibit A: Mommy’s Favorite Chair in the living room that was next on the roster for re-upholstering, and happened to be….red.

Red Chair

When my son learned of my plans to recover the chair, he had a brainstorm. He asked me if I could find a chair for him, paint it red, and use the fabric from my red chair to re-cover it. Yes, this was an actual conversation that I had with my 3 year old about interior design.

Enter Exhibit B: Little antique chair in need of some TLC.

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Home Office Makeover: Gallery Wall Tutorial

23 Sep

Welcome to my new home office! I’ve made lots of changes to this space recently and I’m so excited to share all of it with you!

Gallery_Wall_From_Distance

Today’s focus is my just-completed gallery wall:

Close-Up_Gallery_from_Right

I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’ve included a full tutorial just for you!

THE PROCESS

First, I eyeballed how much space I wanted for the gallery, and quickly slapped some painter’s tape on the wall to mark it.

Painter's Tape Frame

I measured the space after the painter’s tape was up on the wall.

There were a few hiccups I had to sort out along the way. Like the fact that my wall does not exactly meet the ceiling at a straight line in my 1960’s bungalow.

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